Visa package

10 Sep 2014
Adopted References: SOC/510 EESC-2014-2932 Referral - Rapporteur: Pezzini (Employers - GR I / Italy) Co-rapporteur: Pariza Castaños (Workers - GR II / Spain) Plenary Session: 501 - 10 Sep 2014 - 11 Sep 2014 (Summary Plenary Session) OJ C 458, 19.12.2014, p. 36–42
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Union Code on Visas (Visa Code) (recast) and Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a touring visa amending the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement and Regulations (EC) No 562/2006 and (EC) No 767/2008

EESC opinion: Visa package

Key points

  • The EESC wholeheartedly supports these two proposals for a regulation, the first of which seeks to establish touring and multiple entry visas and the second of which seeks to recast the Visa Code in order to improve it, thereby promoting growth and new jobs.
  • The EESC is convinced of the need to support all measures - including visa policy - to simplify and facilitate the entry of people who, having the right and the means to do so, wish to come to the EU.
  • Europe is part of a globalised world where mobility is set to increase: hence the need to ensure better synergies with strategic sectors, such as trade, tourism and culture.
  • The smart and secure simplification of visa procedures should contribute to growth and to spreading European values. Young people from non-European countries should receive particular attention, to enable a culture of respect and tolerance among nations.
  • Single EU representations in third countries would constitute a qualitative leap forward and would solve many problems associated with different visa procedures.
  • Further recommendations:
    • Supporting documents for visa applications should be harmonised.
    • More accurate data should be collected for the purposes of appropriate statistical monitoring.
    • Touring visas and multiple entry visas should be introduced.
    • Straightforward procedural guarantees should be strengthened and uniformly applied.
    • A Schengen visa website should be created.
    • Applicants with a "visa history" should enjoy more procedural flexibility.
    • Adequate flexibility should be allowed for granting visas at the border.
    • Granting of visas for family visits should be facilitated.
    • Consular cooperation should be strengthened, with a view to introducing the principle of mandatory representation, and taking concrete steps towards a single EU representation.